The high number of deaths and serious incidents in the waste recycling industry is to be tackled as part of the three-year initiative by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Inspectors will visit private companies and half of all local authorities that either manage their own or contract out services, said the HSE.
The inspectors will assess the management of health and safety, concentrating on the design, specification and management of contracts, workplace transport, manual handling and employee welfare.
Policies and control measures will be examined, and their management assessed. Inspectors will return after 12 months to check that employers which were required to produce an action plan of improvements have carried these out, it added.
There will also be a programme of advisory seminars and the HSE has launched a waste/recycling web page on its website.